Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Akachochin
Japanese
  • 33 South Wharf Promenade,
    South Wharf,
    Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9245 9900,
    akachochin.com.au
  • Daily noon-9.30pm (limited menu 3pm-6pm)

Akachochin
-37.824285,144.950497

Unlike the tumbleweed territory of Docklands, there's a sunny atmosphere at the CBD-fringe precinct of South Wharf that draws the crowds. They come for the likes of Akachochin, which achieves attractiveness outside (with its waterside aspect), inside (its long marble bar) and on the plate. Ex-Nobu chef Kengo Hiromatsu's inventive, beautifully plated dishes are exemplified by hand-diced kingfish tartare accented with wasabi, miso and sesame oil and accompanied by diaphanous rice-cracker sheets. Wagyu tataki is similarly lively, its marbling sharpened with a citrus-chilli-miso sauce and deep-fried slivers of leek. Saltwater barramundi steamed in chilli ponzu with shimeji mushrooms is more wintry, contrasted with colourful hits of chilli and purple radish leaves. Dessert choices are more limited, but black sesame panna cotta with green tea ice-cream blends voluptuousness and tartness. Service and the drinks list are authentically Japanese.


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At a glance

  • Wine:
  • One glass
  • Price:
  • E $8-$19

    M $15-$35

    D $14

  • Feature:
  • Licensed
    Bar
    Vegetarian
    Wheelchair Access
    Outdoor dining
  • Cards:
  • American Express
    Eftpos
    MasterCard
    Visa
  • Bookings:
  • Bookings recommended
  • Chef:
  • Kengo Hiromatsu

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